Friday, January 27, 2006

Why I think America needs to keep its farm subsidies:

I know, the title alone probably has some of you falling out of your chair considering it’s coming from me but before I’m accused of being a hypocrite let me make my point.

For several years now a battle has raged around the world on what to do with farm subsidies by rich nations. Developing countries have continuously cried foul on their inability to compete because of cheap farm goods from America and Europe thanks to our subsidies and the tariffs we but on their agricultural products when coming into the country. Many will recall when President Bush first came into office he signed the largest farm subsidy bill in history giving over $170 billion to American farmers over the next decade. Now it can be argued that allot of the reason behind it was to secure votes across the farm states and on that they have a point. However I believe subsidies are much more important to America then votes for politicians.

Currently one of the biggest crises we face is over our dependence on foreign oil. America though the second largest oil produce in the world, still only makes enough to support half our needs. One has to wonder what our policies toward the middle east would be if it weren’t that oil was a matter of national security.

With that said, what would America’s national security be like if we had to all of a sudden depend on foreign countries for our food source like we do with oil. It is safe to say that if the American government didn’t subsidize our farms many would close, shifting production offshore to places like Latin America. Without subsidies the economic rule of Comparative Advantage would takeover, as it would no longer be to someone’s advantage to farm in America.

At that point with the majority of America’s food source in foreign hands the chances of being held hostage to them increases like we are currently with oil producing nations. Worse in every major war since the Roman Empire, natural resources were generally one of the biggest issues in deciding its cause and victory. Just because it’s been 60 years since the last world war, it doesn’t mean another one can’t happen. If it does I want as a nation to be assured that we’re making our own food no matter how much the cost to tax payers. When it comes to national security and free trade, farming off the production of t-shirts is one thing, having someone else make my vegetables is another.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home